Vocabulary In Depth

Corpse .. (Dead body of a human being)… [Noun]

1. After the battle was over, corpses lay all over the place. No one came to take them for cremation. A pack of jackals came from the nearby jungle and feasted on them.

2. In a hospital, unclaimed corpses are used in the Physiology laboratory, where students examine them minutely.

Wrap .. (Cover something)   .. [Noun, Verb, Phrasal verb]

Verb .. 1. I bought some tender guavas from a vendor, and wrapped them in a soft piece of cloth.

2. The mother wrapped her child in her arms to protect him from the cold winds.     

Noun .. 1. (secrecy) .. The question setter keeps the questions under wraps till the examination starts.

2. (Secrecy) The government has kept the number of Covid deaths under wraps to avoid public criticism. 

3. (loose cloth) .. The mother has asked her daughter to use a wrap to cover her body when boys are around.     

Phrasal verb ..

Wrap something up (finish) .. The speaker wrapped up his speech with a quote from Tagore’s Gitanjali.

Wrap someone up (cover someone) .. The son wrapped his old father up with a woolen shawl while driving him to the hospital.

Shroud .. (A piece of cloth, cover or any such thing)  [Noun, Verb]

Noun 1. When the old man died, his family members covered his whole body with white colored cloth. This shroud remained till he was cremated.

2. In the film, the two lovers sang a romantic duet while walking through a shroud of mist. 

Verb .. 1. The exact nature of the death of the leader remains shrouded in mystery.

2. The dead chief minister’s dead body was shrouded in the national flag, and kept inside a glass box to allow people to come and pay their last respects.

Deceive .. (To tell a lie to create a false impression)

Verb .. 1. The builder was arrested after some home-buyers alleged that they had been deceived by him. They complained that the builder took huge amounts as advance money from them to build flats, but defaulted.

2. Don’t be deceived by the glossy brochures of the many engineering colleges. They have very poor facilities. 

Deception .. (Noun of deceive)

Noun.. 1. Ravana succeeded in kidnapping Sita because he resorted to deception. He came in as a Sadhu to beg alms.

2.Magicians show mind-boggling tricks from the stage. The audience fail to see the deception involved his show.

Falsify .. (Alter some records for the purpose of cheating) [Verb].. 

The cashier had falsified the records of the bank and taken away lakhs for his own needs. He was later arrested when the fraud was detected. 

Task .. (a work or an assignment)  [Noun, Verb, Adjective]

Noun.. 1. The teacher got angry to see that I had not done any home task.

2. The task of bringing out Americans and Afghan refugees through Kabul airport is proving to be very difficult.

Verb .. (ask someone to do something)   ..

1. American and German troops have been tasked with evacuating Americans in Afghanistan through Kabul airport.

2. (make great demands on).. She worked as the manager in a bank. Her pregnancy tasked her so much that she decided to resign. 

Adjective .. (very difficult)..

1. The security guard was asked to do 12-hour duty. He found it very tasking. 

One day, some 15 guests arrived in our house at a time. My old mother found the job off cooking meals for them very taxing.

Hobble .. (many meanings)  [Verb and Noun]

Verb .. Meaning 1.. (Walk in an awkward manner).. The Covid patient was so weak that he hobbled while going inside the hospital.

The old cycle hobbled when three persons sat on it, and rode along a village road.

Meaning 2.. (to tie the front two legs of a horse or a cow).. The cow often strayed to other people’s farms. The cowherd boy hobbled its legs to restrain it from walking away from the herd.

Meaning 3 .. (Restrict the activity) .. India’s economy has been hobbled by long periods of lock-down.

Obfuscate .. (To make something unclear and difficult to understand) [Verb]

1. In the parliament, the opposition wanted to know the number of deaths caused by the shortage of oxygen. The minister tried to obfuscate the issue by saying that the States have not furnished the figures.

2. In some TV channels, panelists are invited to speak on matters they don’t know much about. So, they try to obfuscate their reply by talking very aggressively and shouting down other panelists.

Stagger .. (It has many meanings.)  [Verb, Noun, Adjective]

Verb .. (Meaning 1 .. To walk unsteadily, as if about to fall)..

a. The wounded soldier staggered back to his unit in his blood-soaked uniform. 

b. The wife was furious to see her drunk husband staggering to his feet, swaying to either side.

(Meaning 2 .. To continue in existence in the midst of so many difficulties)..

a. Air India has been staggering from one crisis to another as a result of its mounting losses over the years. 

b. Afghanistan under the Taliban will stagger from bad to worse as the western nations will choke it financially through sanctions.

(Meaning 3 To be utterly surprised)  ..

a. I was staggered to see my electricity bill of Rs. 3,50,000, in place of the normal dues not exceeding Rs.2000 in any month. 

b. When I woke up, I was staggered to see the time in the clock showing 10am. My examinations had started at 9.30am.

(Meaning 4.. To rearrange so that everything does not come together) 

a. I requested the bank manager to stagger my repayments on account of my housing loan, car loan, and education loan, so that all their due dates don’t fall on the 1st of every month.

b. The prime minister had to meet delegations from 10 different states. The secretary staggered the meetings to avoid confusion, although the P.M. had to spend the whole day meeting different delegations.

Noun.. (Meaning 1 .. To walk or move unsteadily)..

The patient walked with a stagger to the orthopedic surgeon’s chamber. The latter suggested knee replacement as the best possible solution to him.   

(Meaning 2.. Arranging something in a zig zag manner).. In the jeweler’s shop, the gold ornaments were displayed in a systematic stagger to entice the buyers.

Adjective .. (Meaning .. Huge) .. The Indian side piled up a staggering total oof 603 runs before deciding to declare the innings.

Bloated  .. (Meaning .. Swollen)  [Adjective]

Meaning 1 .. The patient’s unshaven, bloated face made his mother very sad.

Meaning 2… One of the reasons of the continuing losses of Air India is its bloated employee strength, whose salary bill eats up the airline’s profits.

Meaning 3 .. Each and every politician in India has a bloated figure, because they live very luxuriously at the cost of ordinary citizens.

Disfigure ..  (Meaning .. To spoil something’s appearance). [Verb]

a. The tourists have been strictly told not to disfigure the monument by writing their names on it.

b. The girl refused to marry the young man. In great anger, the man threw acid at her to disfigure her face.

Turnout.. (It has many meanings. )  [Noun]

Meaning 1 .. (Total attendance).. Despite the rain, the turnout of students in the school was good.

Meaning 2 .. (The uniform or overall appearance) ..  The turnout of the Black Cat commandos is very impressive.

Meaning 3 .. (A horse-drawn carriage).. When our car broke down, we hired a turnout to go to the airport.

Landslide .. (A heavy movement of earth / soil due to rain)   [Noun]

1. Floods and landslides will become more frequent as climate change becomes more acute.

2. The poor people living in the foothills were buried alive due to the landslide.

Meaning 2 .. (Huge margin) .. The politician won the election with a landslide. 

Execution ..

(Meaning 1.. Work to fulfill an assignment).

The project was executed very efficiently as a result of which there was no extra spending.

(Meaning 2 .. Hanging of a convict)..

The execution of the murder convict was delayed due to the intervention oof the Supreme Court.

Atrocity ..

Noun …It means an extremely wicked or cruel act, typically one involving physical violence or injury.

a. The Taliban commit atrocities against professional women workers without batting an eye.
b. Any allegation of atrocity against the Dalits is treated very seriously by police in India.

Atrocious .. Adjective …It has two meanings.

Meaning 1 .. Something horrifyingly wicked..

a. I read about the atrocious maltreatment of Hindu temple priests by the Moghul emperor Aurangjeb’s officials. It made me really angry.
b. The East India Company engaged in atrocious, one-sided price bargaining with the Bengali weavers

Meaning 2 .. Something that is extremely bad, unpleasant and totally false ..

a. The defense counsel termed the allegations against his client as nothing less than the most atrocious lies.
b. The conditions around the Kabul airport where thousands of Afghans had thronged to escape the country in the last week of August were atrocious and very dangerous too.

Human ..

Adjective.. The whole human race is now facing the ill effects of climate change.
Noun .. For a human, it’s almost impossible to eat raw meat.

Humanitarian ..

Adjective …Chartered aircrafts are now flying in to Kabul airport with humanitarian supplies such as baby food, medicines, surgery items etc.

Humane ..

Adjective .. It means kind and compassionate way

a. We must treat the bullocks and domestic dogs in a humane way.
b. As per international law, prisoners of war have to be treated in a humane way by their captors.

Humble ..

Adjective .. Meaning 1 .. Showing modesty, and not trying to show off

a. Although my friend stood first class first in the university, he never tried show that he had so much merit in him.

Meaning 2 .. A low-ranking petty person …

His father was a humble clerk under the British government.

Humility ..

Noun .. It means the quality oof being modest ..

Gandhiji’s humility converted his worst critics to his friends.


Noun .. A very difficult and painful experience ……

a. The Afghans trying to catch a flight from Kabul to flee the country suffered intense trauma as they waited outside the compound with no food or water.

b. After giving birth to a female child thrice in a row, the woman suffered great mental trauma as the family seniors berated her for not giving them a male child.

Traumatic ..

Adjective of trauma.. My experience in a government hospital where I had gone for Covid treatment has been quite traumatic.

Outlaw ..

As noun .. A guilty man who wants to avoid the police for fear of arrest.

a. A stranger approached me for taking shelter for a night. I had to turn him away when I got to know that he was an outlaw.
b. After a night-long operation, the police party nabbed a few outlaws who had evaded arrest for long periods.

As verb .. It means to ban some practice.

a. After capturing power, the Taliban promptly outlawed women going to offices, schools and other such outdoor locations.
b. Police have outlawed bursting oof crackers after 10 pm on Diwali.

Hardy ..

Adjective .. It refers to living beings that can survive in hostile environments

a. Farmers everywhere are a hardy lot. Constant exposure to rain, hot sun, and cold makes them very hardy and tough.
b. Flower plants growing in the wild are much hardier than those grown in nurseries.

Reclaim ..

Verb ..When the regime of the dictator collapsed after the revolution, citizens who had fled the country earlier returned to reclaim their lands and houses.

Forbid ..

Verb.. It means to stop something formally.
a. The government has decided to forbid animal slaughter in temples during the Durga Puja.
b. Laws are in place to forbid the dowry system, but the evil practice continues to prevail.

Forbidden ..

Adjective and verb (past participle).. .. In the fairy tale, the young prince strayed inside a forbidden city and was trapped there. (Adjective)

Past participle .. Taking performance enhancing drugs is strictly forbidden in competitive sports.

Flourish ..

Verb and noun .. To develop in a healthy way ..
a. New York is a city where great men and women of art, literature, science, and philosophy have flourished.
b. Some plants flourish in an indoor environment, but shrivel when kept under sunlight.

As noun .. It means a brilliant way of expressing something in language The flourish in her writing surprised the examiner who gave her the highest marks.

Hybrid ..

Adjective ..Something of mixed character ..

a. Cars with hybrid engines can run both with batteries and petrol.
b. Farmers agree that hybrid seeds yield bumper crops.

Renegade ..

Adjective .. It refers to someone or something that has switched sides treacherously.

a. Indira Gandhi was gunned down by one of her renegade guards.
b. China regards Taiwan as one of its renegade provinces.

Vine ..

Noun .. It refers to grape plants.

a. Rows and rows of vine plants planted along the slopes of mountains in France present a very scenic view.
b. Vine yards in south India and Maharashtra produce a wide variety of grapes.

Demon ..

Noun … It refers to a very evil character.

a. In Hindu mythology, demons appear frequently, but are subsequently killed by gods.
b. He was a verry cruel person. His wife at home and his colleagues in office loathed him intensely.

Demonize ..

It means showing some one as an evil character.

a. BJP spokespersons often demonize Rahul Gandhi for some imaginary flaws in his personality.
b. The Taliban are idolized in Pakistan, but demonized in India for their cruelty and primitiveness.

Brandish ..

Verb .. It means showing a weapon threateningly.

The burglar brandished a knife and ordered the women to hand over their ornaments.

Banish ..

Verb .. It means to force something or someone to leave a country or a place.

a. The British used to banish freedom fighters the Andaman Islands.
b. An LIC policy helps us to banish fears of our untimely death.

Thrive ..

Verb .. It means to prosper and grow.

a. Sugarcane farmers find it hard to thrive due to soaring input costs and stagnant sugarcane prices.
b. New York is a city where intellectuals of all fields thrive and earn fame.

Wind ..

As verbMeaning 1 .. To move in a zigzag manner.

A narrow mud track winds through the forest as the only route for the travelers.

Meaning 2.. To turn a knob to store power.

I wind my watch exactly at the same time daily.

Decimate ..

Verb .. It means to destroy something partially…

a. The cyclone decimated the coastal town.
b. Our batting was decimated by the fast bowlers off the rival side.

Wreak havoc ..

Verb.. It means to cause extensive damage.

a. Covid-19 has wreaked havoc in almost all countries around the world.
b. The Taliban rule in Afghanistan is bound to wreak havoc in Afghanistan sooner than later.

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